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08-29-2013, 08:00 AM
De Montreal
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Join Date: Aug 2009
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The hesitant role of Tomas Plekanec

As we're heading to training camp, I can't help but wonder what role Plekanec will be given this year and which responsabilities will he assumes in the lineup this year. He have developped into a solid two-way player, borderline not-quite 1st line center.

He used to play against toughest competitions, in order to shutdown best opponents offensive players while providing a bit of offence. In order to do this he have to play with similar players, guys like Gionta, Bourque... who can also backcheck and play a solid defensive sound game.

Every team needs a center like him to take faceoff, face the other team best line, play on the PK, etc. But is it really Plekanec's job for next year? It sure can't be Desharnais (too small, not good enough in his own zone) or Galchenyuk (we don't want him to develop into that). Prust is more likely to play wing. So it leaves Eller which does have a similar skillset, while being bigger.

Reason I ask myself this is because Plekanec can be our most dangerous pivot. He's the natural choice to play with Brière, Pacioretty.. Because Brière can't really play on the same line of Plekanec if we ask him to play against the other team best line.

If we want to have a at least one trio oriented to attack maybe we should give Plekanec duties to someone else, like Eller, and let him concentrate on offence a bit more. Then I wouldnt be reluncant so much to have this lineup:

Pacioretty - Plekanec - Brière (offensive line)
Gallagher - Galchenyuk - Bourque (aggressive forechecking lin)
Gionta - Eller - Prust (shutdown line, can also provide offence)
Moen - Desharnais - White (checking line, Desharnais getting PP time)

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